Off we go again!

Philadelphia Travel Blog

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This was a trip to celebrate the birthday of our friend, Gisela. My friend, Karl-Heinz, had called shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to invite us to the party at their favorite restaurant, L’Auberge de l’Ill - Haeberlin, in Illhaeusern, Alsace, France. After some initial hesitation due to the war on terror, we enthusiastically accepted. As long as we were going, we decided to make a little vacation of it, visiting Germany's Black Forest as well as France's Alsace. The way we really like to travel is with little in the way of structure; we like to just "follow our nose." Karl had made for us hotel reservations for our first night, for the weekend of the birthday party, and for the night before our departure. Beyond that, we wanted to be free to go where our whims directed and choose hotels either from one of the several guidebooks we carried or just because we saw something we liked. We were able to cash in US Airways points for two business ("Envoy") class tickets and Karl lent me a car, both of which really helped the budget!

Leaving home at 10:30, we drove to Philadelphia, stopping along the way to see my Uncle Welland and his friend, Riba . We had a nice visit with them and a tour of their place but left there a bit after 3:00 because we were worried about possible delays by traffic and security at PHL. We had a hell of a time finding the economy parking lot and then a harder time finding a parking space. In spite of it all, we were still parked, checked in and through security by 4:00!! We had something to eat at TGI Friday’s and got ourselves settled into the Envoy Class Club by about 5:30. We needn’t have eaten as there were lots of things to eat and drink at the club.

We boarded and pushed back on schedule but, as usual in PHL, there were ground delays. Business class was great! The seats had all kinds of electric positioning controls, a built-in CRT and even ANR (active noise reduction) headsets! We had a good meal and watched a movie but, naturally, got little sleep. Of course, I adjusted my watch forward by 6 hours to correct from EST.

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